Monthly Archives: September 2010

Actor Spotlight: Death Becomes Her

“Do you know what they do to soft bald Republicans in prison?…….I’ll get the shovel, dear.”

This time on our Actor’s Spotlight I’m taking a look at a movie that I hadn’t seen, Death Becomes Her. Once again, I was surprised by how much fun and good this movie is. I don’t really remember it from when it came out in the theaters and from what I’ve read it wasn’t a box office smash. I never caught it on video or cable. But, it’s a great hidden gem of a movie for fans of Streep and the rest of the cast (Bruce Willis and Goldie Hawn). I’d also recommend it for horror fans. It’s got some nice ideas and twists to the ideas of eternal life and what that entails. It’s really not what I picture when I think of “a Meryl Streep movie”. It’s very funny. And, for me it toes the line between being a dark comedy and a horror comedy like Shawn Of The Dead or Zombieland.

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In 2007, photographer Nev Schulman received a painting of one of his published photographs from 8-year-old artist Abby Faccio. Impressed with her work, the two begin an online friendship through Facebook, and many more photographs and paintings are exchanged. Nev, via Facebook, email, IM, and telephone slowly becomes drawn into and involved in Abby’s home life, particularly with her mother Angela and attractive older sister Megan, but as time goes by certain details of their “story” just don’t quite add up, and things get…interesting. Finally Nev, his brother Ariel, and Ariel’s filmmaking partner Henry Joost set out for the Faccio’s home in rural Michigan to find out what exactly their deal is. Read the rest of this entry

Devil’s DVD Advocacy: Get Him to the Greek

Get Him to the Greek chronicles the trip of a geeky and awkward music industry intern, Aaron Green (Jonah Hill) who is put with the task of escorting drug and alcohol addicted rockstar Aldous Snow (Russell Brand) from London to Los Angeles. Sean Combs (aka P. Diddy) plays Jonah Hill’s ball-busting music industry boss who wants something new in the music industry to improve revenues. Aaron Green suggests an anniversary concert at the famed Greek Theater in Los Angeles. Read the rest of this entry

Devil’s DVD Advocacy: Iron Man 2

There isn’t much to say about the plot for Iron Man 2 that isn’t covered in the trailer: a generic Soviet attempting to thwart Tony Stark, Stark fighting the government for control of his suit, and War Machine teaming up for a brawl. Another unseen plot point is thrown into the mix, but it remains a simple story. This is the part where many superhero movies go wrong: it is okay to stick with the basics as long as they are done well. Read the rest of this entry

Actor Spotlight: Out of Africa

Just to give you, the reader, a frame of reference, Out of Africa was Oscar’s sweetheart in 1986.  The film won Best Picture, Best Director, Best Art Direction, Best Cinematography, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Original Music Score, and Best Sound.   No Best Actress you say.  Why was this month’s spotlight focus not awarded the highest honor for her performance in Out of Africa?  Meryl Streep lost that year to veteran actress Geraldine Page, who had starred in the film The Trip to Bountiful.   Film historians and other people in the field, much smarter than I, all seem to  agree that Page was awarded Best Actress as a sort of  “lifetime achievement award”, otherwise Streep very well could have won.  In fact, Streep would have walked away with the award no doubt.  While Page’s performance was certainly award worthy, nothing came close to topping Streep’s portrayal of Karen Blixen on the big screen.  Read the rest of this entry

The Town

When I went to school the nuns only used small arms, no automatic weapons.

I’m just going to start with saying I will not be able to look at a nun now without envisioning a machine gun in hand.  An old stereotype is to say that catholic nun’s are strict and weld a ruler like no other.  Well…..this movie however has me thinking that is a thing of the past and now are more modernized for our time.

Great….just started my review and I’m already off track. Read the rest of this entry

The Town (Devil’s Advocate Review)

Last week I saw Good Will Hunting 2: Electric Boogaloo starring Ben Affleck and Jeremy…..Wait. It wasn’t Good Will Hunting 2? Damn. Gotta start again.

The Town is the latest from director, actor and Oscar-winning screen writer Ben Affleck. It’s a heist movie set in a part of Boston that’s the bank robbery capitol of America, Charlestown. The movie follows Affleck’s Doug MacRay as he continues the town’s tradition of bank robbery and crime in general. He’s part of a crew of bank robbers that’s seen Point Break a few times too many. They rob banks in outlandish costumes and for the most part avoid killing anybody. One robbery doesn’t exactly go as planned and MacRay tracks down a potential witness, a manager at the bank they just robbed (Rebecca Hall). Of course, in a movie as predictable and by the numbers as this one, they fall in love and complications arise.

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Easy A

Emma Stone gets an easy A for her brilliant performance as a teenager ridden with angst and turmoil due to a simple lie. With nods to Nathaniel Hawthorne and John Hughes, this film is a wonderful mix of comedy, coming of age, young love, and relevance. Emma Stone is fantastic as Olive Penterghast, a smart but unnoticed girl in your typical public school. One weekend, her best friend asks her to come camping with her strange nudist vegan family and Olive creates an excuse of a date with a guy to avoid eating bugs in the woods. After the weekend, Olive tells Rihanna (Alyson Michalka) of the magical weekend she had with her fake weekend date (when she really just hung around the house). A fellow goody-two shoe religious freak classmate (annoyingly played by Amanda Bynes–not a good role for her) spreads the rumor, which ends up spiraling out of control. As the lies and rumors get bigger and uglier, Olive starts to embrace her newfound popularity and reputation. She buys “slutty” clothes and brands them with a scarlet A to make a statement. Eventually, everyone involved in Olive’s web of lies gets hurt by the consequences of her actions. Read the rest of this entry

Episode 39: The Town

This week Rene, Joe, and Mike discuss the latest opus from director/actor Ben Affleck. Listen as they ponder on bank heists, father/son relationships, and being in front of and behind the camera all at once.  

Give us a listen and we promise you a wicked good time.

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Never Let Me Go

The Hailsham school is much like any British boarding school you’ve seen in countless movies. The students are bright-eyed, wear uniforms, and sing at assemblies. They play ball and run around the grounds. They engage in light mischief and get lectured by stern schoolmarms. They check in and out of buildings with wrist monitors, begin each day with complex drug cocktails, and are afraid to set foot outside school grounds lest they be kidnapped, maimed, murdered, worse.


Never Let Me Go is science fiction, and the best kind of science fiction – the kind that is “about” far more than what it is “about”, and asks more questions than it answers.

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Devil’s DVD Disappointment: Robin Hood

The story itself is iconic; it is a legend that to this day you will find children pretending to be.  It is about standing up for what is right although society says what you are doing is wrong.  It is a story about sacrifice, true love and what is means to be truely noble.  It is simply Robin Hood.  There are many “legends” that Hollywood has taken on and Robin Hood has been one legend that Hollywood can’t seem to get right.  Maybe it is the concept of taking from the rich and giving to the poor that Hollywood finds subconsiously unappealing that cause their versions to be lacking.  Whatever the root cause, 2010’s Robin Hood directed by Ridley Scott attempts to give us the “true” story behind the legend. Read the rest of this entry

Actor Spotlight: Sophie’s Choice

Meryl Streep is considered to be one of the great actresses of this generation. I personally tend to agree. This movie really shows what a powerful actress she is.  Sophie’s Choice is considered Meryl Streep’s greatest performance. It’s the movie that made her a star and won her an Oscar for Best Actress. It’s a gripping, tragic movie about love and loss set in the aftermath of World War II.

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Resident Evil: Afterlife

Primarily, and most importantly, this latest installment in the Resident Evil series is worse than watching The Biggest Loser on one of their 100 degree, summer days. I’d sooner drink the pan drippings from my Foreman grill than watch this…thing again; an act which is undoubtedly less healthy physically, but will help me to retain more brain cells. Just a mind numbing, miserable excuse of a project. Read the rest of this entry

Saint John of Las Vegas DVD

Loosely based on the story Dante’s Inferno, Saint John of Las Vegas follows the story of a recovering gambler named John.  To even tie it in more, John’s last name is Alegheri just like Dante’s.  Comparisons from there can vary based on what interpretations of levels of hell one looks at.  Saint John of Las Vegas is an indie film that hit the festivals before making its way to DVD. Read the rest of this entry

Devil’s DVD Disappointment: Prince of Persia

Mike and his tour guide, Veer, head to the Middle East, mingle with the Sex and City girls, all while trying to avoid those pesky Brits pretending to be Persians.

This episode we discuss Prince of Persia, Bruckheimer syndrome, and a general lack of effort seen in films today.

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Episode 37: Summer Wrap Up

This week Joe, Jonathan and Mike, with a little help from Rene, explore the summer that was.

Give us a listen and be the 100th caller in order to win tickets to Supertramp.

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Check out our written reviews at and email us at

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2010 has been a great year for movies. And, for some reason, it’s been an especially good year for movies with a lot of action, female nudity and testosterone. But, the thing to keep in mind is that for the most part, the action movies this year have been good. Machete is the latest action movie to hit the theaters this summer. It’s a great end to 2010’s summer at the movies.

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Machete (Devil’s Advocate Review)

Ladies and gentlemen, I am a fan of Robert Rodriguez and his oeuvre. I am one of very few who enjoyed Once Upon a Time in Mexico; I greatly preferred Planet Terror to Death Proof; I even own his band Chingon’s album, Mexican Spaghetti Western, which I occasionally inflict upon friends and relatives (it’s very good, I highly recommend it). All of that being said…Machete was rather disappointing. Perhaps it’s my fault for going in with raised expectations due to the sheer crazy awesome of the trailer, maybe it’s Rodriguez’s fault for not making a better film. No, it’s definitely his fault. Allow me to explain. Read the rest of this entry

The American

Clooney is a little too comfortable with that gun.

At no point in my mind did I envision The American as being an action filled, hitman thriller.    The footage that was presented did not imply or intimate any such thing.  In fact, I was expecting something along the lines of The Professional, mixed with a touch of Grosse Point Blank, only with much less action and comedy.  Instead, the film is a case study of a man that is looking for a reason to leave his lamentable career, but has difficulty mustering the courage to do so.  Read the rest of this entry

Devil’s DVD Disappointment: MacGruber

Generally, no one should have had high hopes for this movie; it is a feature length film culled from 30-second clips on Saturday Night Live.  And those are usually hit-or-miss.  But I believed, given the ability to stretch beyond post-primetime television into an R-rated, creative medium, that MacGruber would be a spring/summer sleeper comedy.  With an upper-decker joke in the previews, how could it go wrong? Read the rest of this entry

Actor Spotlight: Kramer vs. Kramer

Kicking off this month’s actor spotlight of Meryl Streep is 1979’s Kramer vs. Kramer.  A movie that came out when I was merely a year old.  With that in mind, it is no wonder that I didn’t see it till I was selected to do so for this review.

Kramer vs. Kramer is a movie can hits you like a ton of bricks because of the subject that is of hand.  That being a young child in the middle of a custody battle between parents.  However director Robert Benton focuses more on the growth of the father’s character than the custody battle itself.  Dustin Hoffman plays the workaholic father who comes home after getting great news from work to a wife who has her bags packed and heading out the door.  From that point on, his life changes dramatically. Read the rest of this entry